Elon Musk and Tesla want to change how the world uses energy, and have unveiled a new product line called Tesla Energy. One of its first products is the Powerwall, a battery that is install in the home that regulates and monitors how energy is used. According to Musk, the Powerwall is “completely sustainable, zero carbon” and will have an impact on the user’s electricity usage. A business model is also available, called the Powerpack.
Most homes use a lot of electricity through the day. A lot of this electricity comes from fossil fuels, which aren’t sustainable and cause a lot of environmental damage. The Powerwall saves energy from solar panels or the grid for use when it’s needed. For example, a Powerwall can save energy from off-peak times to be used during peak hours. For the customer, this will make electricity bills less expensive. For electric companies, it will remove stress from infrastructure during peak periods.
The Powerwall benefits the customer in different ways. Load shifting is mentioned above and means the battery charges in low rate periods and discharges in the expensive periods. Solar energy can be stored, so that power is saved from periods of high sunlight to be used during periods when the sun isn’t out. Due to it storing energy, the Powerwall can be used as a backup device when electricity isn’t available. Just like Elon Musk announced during the spectacular keynote.
There are two versions of the Powerwall, a 10kWh version designed for backup applications and 7kWh for everyday use. The price of the batteries for installers, excluding installation and inverter, is $3500 and $3000 respectively. Musk has said that the Powerwall is designed to be easy to install for two people in a less than an hour. It size is 3 feet across, 4 ft tall, and 6 inches deep. It is covered for 10 years by a warranty from Tesla. The Powerpack for business is unpriced as yet.
The devices have been installed in around 300 homes around California, tested in Walmart stores and a Cargill animal processing plant. Australia and Germany are planned to have the Powerwall introduced into their markets by the end of the year. The technology could evolve into a device that could impact developing countries where there is a lack of electrical infrastructure. In the future, this is a device that could see more people getting off the grid and relying less on utility companies and with less brownouts occurring.